GOLF GTI TESTED

How do you make an al­ready great car bet­ter? Vw tHinks new tecH­nolo­gies and driV­ing aids would do tHe trick.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - NEWS - By THOMAS HUONG huong@thes­tar.com.my

The hatch­back has not lost any of its fun-to-drive fac­tor de­spite go­ing up­scale.

THE sev­enth-gen­er­a­tion Golf GTI hot hatch is a lot of fun to drive, and at the same time, is also a fam­ily-friendly car that is packed with cabin com­forts aplenty.

While this opin­ion also ap­plies to pre­vi­ous Golf GTI in­car­na­tions, Volkswagen has brought its leg­endary Golf GTI to even higher lev­els of so­phis­ti­ca­tion with new en­gi­neer­ing tech­nolo­gies and driv­ing aids.

En­gi­neered as the fastest, most pow­er­ful, and most fuel-ef­fi­cient Golf GTI ever, Volkswagen’s new sporty icon is based on a ver­sa­tile and flex­i­ble mod­u­lar trans­verse ma­trix (MQB) plat­form.

Com­pared with the pre­vi­ous model, the new Ger­man hot hatch has not only lost some weight (up to 42kg lower), it has also grown slightly in size, with its wheel­base ex­tended by 56mm to 2,631mm.

In Malaysia, the new Golf GTI is also of­fered with an op­tional RM10,000 Tech Pack which con­sists of Vi­enna leather seats with red stitch­ing, a 12-way elec­tric ad­justable driver’s seat, and Dy­namic Chas­sis Con­trol (DCC) with five driv­ing modes - Sport, Nor­mal, Com­fort, Eco, In­di­vid­ual.

Of course, buy­ers can al­ways save RM10,000 if they don’t mind be­ing en­sconced in Clark fab­ric seat up­hol­stery with cov­ers in the clas­sic tar­tan pat­tern, or hav­ing to man­u­ally ad­just the driver’s seat, or do­ing without the DCC which adap­tively ad­justs damper char­ac­ter­is­tics.

Then again, an­other RM8,000 can be saved by opt­ing for the three­door GTI Pure which lacks a fair bit of bells and whis­tles.

Any­way, we re­cently took a five­door GTI Ad­vanced fit­ted with the op­tional Tech Pack for a test drive, and was im­pressed with its Jekyll and Hyde qual­i­ties.

With its merry blend of dy­namic per­for­mance and all-round oc­cu­pant com­forts, the pop­u­lar say­ing “You can’t have your cake and eat it too!” does not ap­ply to this car. We stepped hard on the ac­cel­er­a­tor pedal for some spir­ited driv­ing, and mar­velled at its ex­tremely quick ac­cel­er­a­tion and taut chas­sis, as we steered ac­cu­rately into tar­get­ted gaps in road traf­fic.

When driven hard and ne­go­ti­at­ing road bends, there is abun­dant grip from the 225/40 R18 tyres and very lit­tle un­der­steer.

Han­dling and steer­ing are im­pres­sively pre­cise, helped by fea­tures such as a well-sorted sport sus­pen­sion, XDS+ ve­hi­cle dy­namic func­tion and a new pro­gres­sive steer­ing sys­tem that com­bine to work like a well-oiled Ger­man Bun­desliga foot­ball team.

Mean­while, there are plenty to en­joy here in the area of ve­hi­cle com­forts and ap­point­ments.

These in­clude good­ies like du­al­zone tem­per­a­ture con­trol for air­con­di­tion­ing, cruise con­trol with speed lim­iter, bi-xenon head­lights with LED day­time run­ning lights, front and rear park­ing sen­sors, rear air-con­di­tion­ing vents, front and rear read­ing lights and an

The in­stru­ment panel look is typ­i­cally VW.

Go here to choose your ride mode.

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